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Amid closing the third quarter and kicking off the fourth, last week's best stocks to buy revolved around the government shutdown, the looming debt ceiling deadline, and the hotly anticipated Twitter IPO.
September is historically the worst month for equities, but investors were mostly unscathed. The broad-based S&P 500 Index rose 3% in September and 4.7% in Q3. The Dow added 1.5% in the third quarter and is up 15.5% for the year.
As Q4 gets under way, many investors have retreated to avoid giving up gains, pulling $1.3 billion out of equity funds last week. Bond and commodity funds were also walloped with redemptions.
But savvy investors aren't reactive – they're proactive. You see, over the last 50 years, the stock market has delivered the bulk of its gains between Oct. 31 and May 1, according to The Wall Street Journal. So now is definitely not the time to retreat from the market.
With that in mind, here's a recap of our latest and best stocks to buy now from Money Morning's in-house experts and researchers:
- While the Fed surprisingly kept its $85 billion a month bond-buying program in place at its September meeting, we know the central bank is preparing to start with a taper. The temporary delay did spark a rally in bonds, providing an opportunity for investors to sell bonds and "bond proxy" sectors including preferred stocks, utilities, and mortgage real estate investment trusts (REITs). Proceeds can be moved into investments that Money Morning Global Investing & Income Strategist Robert Hsu says can return up to $850 a month, depending on how much money investors put in. Get all the details here.
- Money Morning Defense & Tech Specialist Michael Robinson calls Microsoft one of the best tech dividend stocks to buy now. It's a name investors should consider adding to portfolios as a means to defend against a brewing volatile market. "There's a way to stay invested – to keep pursuing the life-changing profits that the 'right' tech-sector stocks can deliver – even as you muscle aside the painful punches that today's volatile markets can inflict," Robinson says. In How to Find the Best Tech Dividend Stocks, we explain why Microsoft fits the bill – and share another name, too. Robinson also provides a trio of names that should weather the looming debt default painlessly, including one he calls a double growth stock that is the perfect fiscal cliff defense.